Here’s Why Ants Never Leave You Alone.
It’s safe to say that homeowners in the Pacific Northwest have ant problems at least once a year. For some of us, ants are more-or-less a constant presence. Their numbers will decrease dramatically in the winter months, increase in the spring, and surge beyond control in the summer. They show up in odd places like the bathroom floor or the laundry room where there is no obvious magnet such as food.
Well, big news. There are a number of different species of ants, and they are all attracted to different things. For example, the little black ants in your bathroom are probably scouting for water. Aside from sugar, this is one of their most common targets. Stagnant water will bring a few thirsty ants into your bathroom sink and shower, retrieving beverages for the rest of the colony most likely hibernating in the walls of your house.
Carpenter ants are tricky. They like wood and moisture. Both of which are plentiful in the Vancouver and Portland area. But you can deter them by correcting plumbing and roofing leaks and sealing cracks in and around your home’s foundation.
As cold weather approaches in fall, ants seek warm shelter by burying themselves in soil, under rocks, and inside the walls and foundations of houses. Periodically, some ants will go scouting for extra food and water during cold weather seasons. This is what you’re seeing when there’s an unexpected ant infestation in the middle of winter.
Let’s look at some simple ways to make your home less interesting to ants.
Here’s How to Get Ants to Leave You Alone.
Most ants like to scavenge for food in the summer, but if it’s available, they’ll bug you to varying degrees all year. Here are a few simple ways to keep them at bay year-round:
- Keep your house clean. We don’t mean just do the dishes and laundry. We mean regularly vacuum and wash the floors, wash rugs, tapestries, and surfaces with a vinegar solution or other mild disinfectant. Ants aren’t fond of vinegar, and they will be less interested in a home free of organic debris and dust.
- Put snacks in the fridge. It’s critical also to keep food items like chips, sugary snacks, baking goods, and juices in the fridge or sealed tightly in cupboards. Ants have great senses, so simply putting a mound of brown sugar in a Ziploc bag isn’t enough. Keep bulk sugar in a robust, vacuum sealed container. But only if there is no room for it in the fridge.
- Seal it up.Tracking down the source of your ant problem can be pretty easy. They usually enter and exit through the same tiny cracks and crevices in the walls and flooring. Once you find it, you have two choices. Set a trap, or seal the opening. A trap will lead to more ants entering your home at first, but after a day or so, they should all disappear. Sealing the opening might just cause them to enter in a different location, leading to a potentially endless chase.
Sure, But What’s The Best Option?
If you have little patience for bugs and want to prevent the infestation entirely, your best bet is to call an ant exterminator. Since they know where ants like to hide, they will inspect your home and work to completely eliminate the pests you’re having trouble with. A good company will customize their treatment plan for your unique home or office.
Depending on the scale of the problem, ant exterminators typically do one or all of the following:
While it may seem extreme to call an ant exterminator in Vancouver, Portland, or the surrounding areas, it is actually the best way to stop the problem permanently. And by “best” we mean the fastest, cheapest, and most long-term solution possible.